Background

New EU Regulations

On 27 September two new Commission regulations amending the EU CITES Implementing Regulation (EC) 865/2006 started to apply.

The two regulations, (EU) No 791/2012 and (EU) No 792/2012, set to implement certain resolutions adopted at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP15). They also seek to ensure that the EU CITES rules are implemented in a more efficient manner within the Union. Of notable interest to hunters is the inclusion into EU law of the new definition of a ‘hunting trophy’ as agreed by Parties at CoP15 in March 2010 and adopted in Resolution Conf. 12.3 (Rev. CoP15). At that meeting FACE and SCI managed to gather a united front of Parties and NGOs in favour of a simple non-restrictive definition, clarifying that raw, processed and manufactured items are included in the definition of a hunting trophy and that the trophy can be imported by or on behalf of the hunter, even at a later date after the hunter has returned home. This allows hunting clients to continue to have a choice between their own home taxidermist or a local/regional enterprise in the country where the trophy was taken or any other country. In turn, community livelihoods may be enhanced by manufacturing in the country of origin, providing incentives to support sustainable use through trophy hunting and conservation.

A second novelty being introduced into Regulation (EC) 865/2006 is a new procedure whereby EU Member States may a posteriori allow commercial use within the Union of Annex B specimens (roughly corresponding to CITES Appendix II) having originally been introduced under the personal and household effects derogation for non-commercial purposes, such as for example hunting trophies. There are two requirements for this to apply:

1) The applicant needs to demonstrate that the specimen has been introduced into the Union at least two years before it can be used for commercial purposes;

2) The management authority of the Member State concerned has verified that the specimen in question could have been imported for commercial purposes in accordance with Article 4(2) of Regulation (EC) No 338/97 at the time when it was introduced into the Union.

Once these conditions are fulfilled, the management authority shall deliver a written statement attesting that the specimen can be used for commercial purposes.